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NYT: Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red


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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/world/australia/fires-red-skies-Mallacoota.html

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Thousands Flee to Shore as Australia Fires Turn Skies Blood Red

 

SYDNEY, Australia — As the fire stalked toward the coastal town of Mallacoota, the daytime sky turned inky black, then blood red. Emergency sirens wailed, replaced later by the thunder of gas explosions. Thousands of residents fled their homes and huddled near the shore. There was nowhere else to go.

 

On the last day of the warmest decade on record in Australia, the country’s east coast was dotted on Tuesday with apocalyptic scenes like the ones in Mallacoota, a vacation destination between Sydney and Melbourne.

 

Australia is in the grip of a devastating fire season, with months of summer still to go, as record-breaking temperatures, strong winds and prolonged drought have ignited huge blazes across the country.

 

The devastation is immense. In the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, more than 900 homes have been destroyed and nine million acres have burned since November. About 100 fires are currently raging in the state, with about three dozen more across the border in Victoria. At least 11 people have died.

 

Australia is normally hot and dry in summer, but climate change, which brings more frequent and longer periods of extreme heat, worsens these conditions and makes vegetation drier and more likely to burn. The country recently concluded its driest spring on record. That was followed in mid-December by the hottest day on record, with average highs across the country of 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

 

Wildfires near Bairnsdale in Victoria. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by visionary
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dcksw3ce2y841.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&a

This is a 3D visualisation of the fires in Australia. NOT A PHOTO. Think of this as prettier looking graph.

This is made from data from NASA’s FIRMS (Satellite data regarding fires) between 05/12/19 - 05/01/20. These are all the areas which have been affected by bushfires.

Scale is a little exaggerated due to the render’s glow, but generally true to the info from the NASA website. Also note that NOT all the areas are still burning, and this is a compilation.

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I've been impressed by the young people on twitch and other social media sites raising money for efforts.  Some are using less traditionally accepted methods (sending lewd photos in exchange of proof of donation, for example) but it gets the job done.  Millions and millions have been raised by thousands of content creators.

 

It's sad that this is coming hot on the trail of the Amazon fires.

 

This is the new normal and it's heartbreaking.

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11 minutes ago, Cooked Crack said:

 

Cool cool cool

 

No, hot, hot hot.

 

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Perhaps the most common and dangerous hazard posed by pyrocumulonimbus clouds is the potential for rapid fire growth and erratic fire behavior.

 

If a pyrocumulonimbus cloud’s updraft becomes organized enough, inflow winds at times exceeding 80 mph can fuel a raging inferno. Moreover, there comes a point at which the pyrocumulonimbus cloud is no longer subject to local weather influences, but rather becomes the predominant local weathermaker.

 

When that happens, the pyrocumulonimbus cloud can effectively become a firestorm. Unpredictable and chaotic winds can yield erratic fire behavior, catching fire personnel and the public alike off guard. Meanwhile, the fire’s updraft pulls air from all around into it, causing the added oxygen to fuel combustion even further.

 

Firestorms can cause fire fronts to surge, and carry embers far from the initial blaze. Lightning from the parent pyrocumulonimbus cloud can ignite new fires downwind, beneath the cloud’s hulking electrified anvil.

 

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Planes Drop Thousands Of Kilograms Of Carrots And Potatoes For Starving Animals

 

The New South Wales government commissioned the service titled ‘Operation Rock Wallaby’ which aims to feed the state’s colonies of brush-tailed rock wallabies and help the state’s population of marsupials survive.

 

A week ago the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service began its mission undertaking the food drops in the Capertree and Wolgan valleys, Yengo National Park, the Kangeroo Valley, and around Jenolan, Oxley Wild Rivers and Currancubundi national parks.

 

So far, they have dropped more than 2,200kg of fresh vegetables for animals living below.

 

rock_wallabies_-828x435.jpg

 

Matt Kean, environment minister for New South Wales, said although the animals have successfully managed to flee the fires, they’re now outside of their natural habitat and are therefore left without food.

 

As per MailOnline, he said:

 

"The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat.

 

The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance."

 

Click on the link for the full article

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Rain pelts fire-ravaged Australian states, bringing new risks -- and some relief

 

Melbourne (CNN)Severe thunderstorms are pelting some regions of Australia suffering from historic wildfires with powerful rain, bringing much-needed relief to firefighters battling the worst blazes the country has seen in decades.

 

"Our fingers are crossed that this continues over the coming days," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said Friday in a tweet.


Rain has fallen on most firegrounds in the state over the last 24 hours, the RFS said. However, it wasn't enough to put out the flames. Eighty-two fires are still burning, including 30 that are yet to be contained.


Residents of drought-hit areas who have spent years waiting for rain celebrated its arrival on Thursday. Rain fell in major cities, including Sydney, where water flowed through the streets.

 

Click on the link for the full article

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